PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — The Farmers Market Nutrition Program begins on Thursday across the state. Low-income seniors receive vouchers to use at farmer’s markets to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are Pennsylvania grown.

However, that program has been put on hold. The State Department of Agriculture said the vouchers have been delayed due to a printing issue. This means eligible Pennsylvanians will not get that money until at least the end of June.

Now, county departments are working to get the word out to seniors.

Harvest Lane Farm in Lititz, Lancaster County has been busy with customers. It is one of the farmer’s markets that accept fresh food vouchers.

“It’s been strong and it looks like it’s going to continue to be that way,” Manager Dane Martin said. We see it out here every day (and) they are very grateful for the opportunity,” Martin added.

But there has been a delay in getting those vouchers to the people who need them the most.

“They usually get delivered to us at the beginning of May and we knew there was a little of a delay we were supposed to get them before June 1st,” Senior Center Program Director Lisa Paulson said. “We are probably not going to get them until July.”

That means seniors won’t be able to get that money for fresh fruits and vegetables for at least a month. It’s not only in Lancaster County, but it is across the entire state. Dauphin County expects over 2,000 seniors in need of vouchers, and Cumberland County has over 800.

“To eat healthily, people say it’s not expensive, but it is expensive. With the cost of food, people are really needing the extra help they can get,” Paulson said.

It’s the first year seniors are eligible to get $50 in vouchers.

“For Lancaster County, just for the senior program, we’re going to have over 137 thousand dollars worth of vouchers, Paulson said.”

While seniors rely on these vouchers to purchase healthy food, farmers rely on them to sell their crops.

“A lot of stuff starts late May and through June there’s quite a bit that is occurring on the produce and fruit end of things, especially strawberries is the big one right now, that will pretty much be done with the big crop by June,” Martin said.

Lancaster County is scrambling to get the word out that seniors will not be getting vouchers at its distribution event on Monday. The county put out a survey seniors can fill out to get notifications on when vouchers will get delivered.

some seniors have smartphones they can use for email but a lot of them don’t so we’re asking them to talk to their neighbors, families, and anyone who can sign up on their behalf and use their information but with the neighbor’s email so they get notified on the new dates,” Paulson said.

You can also click here to see about the notification process by clicking here, and the printing issue affects WIC recipients as well.